Creamy Chicken Skillet

One pan meals are my favorite. While I like doing dishes, I don't like looking at a sink piled high with them. This one dish wonder helps me to keep my sanity in more ways than one. 

If you have one dish dinner meals, pass those along by replying with the recipe in the comment section. 

To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Creamy Chicken Skillet

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 slices bacon

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

6 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 14.5-oz. can coconut milk

2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and crumble. Set aside. Discard the bacon fat from the pan except for one tablespoon. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Push the onion to one side and add the chicken to the pan. Lightly brown the chicken, and then stir in the bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon. Add the white wine vinegar to the pan to deglaze. Add the coconut milk and kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Why You Really Don’t Want to Change

People resist change because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they gain. Think about it, when you go on a 'DIET' you often say, I can no longer eat this or that. I can't eat after this time or I can only drink water. You're focused on what you have to give up. It puts your mindset in a very negative state.

What if instead you focused on all the things you will gain?

Since we are talking about food, let's suppose you are going to change the way you are eating each day. You've decided to eat produce and protein. I love that idea! I could see all those items inside the grocery store that I should no longer have on my plate. Instead I am going to focus on the produce section that often gets neglected. 

  • I'm going to try a new vegetable recipe 
  • I'll find a fruit I've never had before
  • Favorites veggies will fill my cart
  • I'll add in some fresh spices to give it a splash of Zing
  • I'll find a vegetable I can eat raw, eaten hot or eaten cold. 
  • I'll search for a fruit that I can eat the peal

Do you see where I am going with this? The produce section is the world at my fingertips. Our grocery stores can get just about any variety at any time of the year. 

Guess what? The meat department is very much the same, I can see the butcher or the seafood clerk or the deli counter for great protein sources. I can find more protein sources in the coolers and freezers. 

Think positive. You can positively change yourself, change your life for the better. The process doesn't have to be miserable. In fact the process of change is where all the focus should be. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy


Mastering Hunger, Not Allowing It to Master you

Recognizing genuine body hunger and distinguishing it from false hunger (emotional or mental appetite) can be tough. 

  1. Real hunger builds gradually, and may go through an initial phase of coming and going before becoming a steady sensation.

  2. False hunger or a desire to eat may arise suddenly and doesn’t last for more than about 20 to 30 minutes. This is because it is generally triggered by an emotion, time of day, smelling or seeing and appetizing food or viewing an advertisement – not a genuine bodily need.

If you aren’t sure whether you’re feeling genuine body hunger or a false hunger, simply take a 20- to 30-minute wait-and-see period.

  1. Hunger isn't starvation. It may be helpful to remind yourself that hunger is not an emergency. Your body is well equipped to get through long periods of time without food – weeks
  2. Feeling the appropriate amount of hunger for each meal is your assurance that you’re eating just the right amount for fat loss.

Hunger has some different levels. We're looking for that range of hunger where you are not emotionally irritated by the feeling or irrational in your judgement of the amount of food to satisfy your hunger.

Listening to how your body feels while you eat. Understanding the level at which you need to eat in order to remain comfortably full, not overstuffed, and yet ‘feel’ hunger before it is time to eat again sounds easy but is much more difficult to do.

Give yourself a goal this week to feel hunger before you eat. You might do this at every meal but I know when I first worked on this skill. I worked at feeling hunger for 2 meals a day. That took effort. That effort has paid off. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Practice Practice Practice

Changing our behavior to become healthier takes work. Think of it like practicing your golf swing. No one is good at it the first time up to the tee. In fact many times we miss the ball totally the first time but after a bit of time, some help from a coach, encouragement from peers, you get better.

In my experience, changing our normal will involve some mishaps- some missed balls. That's okay. Its practice. I know many of us want to be perfect and not let others see our mishaps. But you are human and so are we. You'll get back up and keep on practicing. 

Next time you decide to add in more vegetables or stop eating mindlessly while watching TV or taking seconds when you're not really hungry anymore remember to practice the new you. 

It is actually freeing to stop trying to be perfect. You can learn your own resilience through struggles.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

And the Answer Is…..


There is no substitute for the power of vegetables as part of your nutrition plan. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Your mom is not the only one who knew the scoop on how great vegetables are for you. Here’s what Dr. John Berardi over at Precision Nutrition has to say:

“Eating higher levels of veggies and fruits are associated with a lower incidence of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Colon, prostate, cervical, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, thyroid, and breast cancer
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • and a lot more that aren’t on this list…”

Here’s a pretty cool graphic (also from PN) that illustrates another great thing about vegetables – they fill you up, literally!

You want to aim for 5 "fists" of vegetables per day.  Ideally, the majority of those "fists" would come from non-starchy vegetables.  Strive for 3-5 fists of non-starchy vegetables and 0-2 fists of starchy vegetables.  (This is VERY important for Fat Loss) 

Getting in 5 servings a day is much simpler than you might think, so no worries – ok?

The great thing about using your own fist as a guideline for portion control is that you always have it with you anywhere you go!

This means you should still keep your veggies in mind at restaurants, when eating on the go, or anywhere else.

It is almost impossible to over consume most non-starchy vegetables, so fill up on these foods without worry. If anything, put your effort towards making sure you eat enough of them, as opposed to too much.

 "Every question you have about your health, chances are vegetables are the answer."- Coach Nancy

 Here is one of my family's favorite recipe. It's for Vegetable Fettuccine. My kids love to help me make this but they devour it up as well. I serve it with our fantastic Spaghetti Sauce and Voila 5 servings of veggies easy peasy. 

To Your Best Health,


What to eat before, during, and after your workout [Infographic]

One of the great mysteries of the world, finally solved!

Dean Carlson, Pn2

A very common question I hear regards what to eat around workout times. When, what type of food, and how much. If you know anything about me by now, it's that my answer is going to be; "It depends".

Personally I train in the morning, and the only thing I have before I train is a cup of coffee. On strength training days, I consume BCAA's, and recently have played around with adding Creatine to that mix as well. Then I eat a regular meal when I get home. The cool infographic below, produced by our friends at Precision Nutrition, outlines that strategy. I use it for two reasons:

1. It applies to my body type and goals. I have a slow metabolism, am sensitive to carbs, and am trying to keep my body fat down while getting stronger.

2. It works for me. It's not just a matter of someone telling me to do it, it's experimenting and seeing what happens. I have tried to higher carb workout shakes and post-training regimen, and I just gain body fat when I used that method. 

The take home? Do what works for you. Determining that may take a little trial and error, but I assure you it's worth it. Your results and recovery will show you the way!

You can get a fully printable version of this infographic by clicking here, and you can get a more thorough explanation of the infographic and see the latest research in the PN article: Workout Nutrition Explained: What to eat before, during, and after exercise.

Need More Help?

Our passion is helping cut through the confusion surrounding your diet and exercise, and coaching you up so you can learn to live lean and healthy for the rest of your life. We offer as little or as much coaching as you need. Check out some ways to get started here.

A Message From Cupid

Dear Valentine,

I have a little advice for you this year on Valentines Day. Let me give you a little poke and prodding. You have 1day left to figure a way to express your feelings towards your loved ones. Let me help you get your creative juices flowing. Let me explain a few “do’s and don’ts” to Valentines Day.

Here’s a few ‘deal’ breakers:

  • Chocolates to those who are trying to eat healthy = bad choice. 
  • Gourmet Cookies… did you read the last sentence? Cookies are not healthy! Even with cute little messages.
  • Champagne… slows metabolism, too risky on the effects, not to mention killer headache the next day, again, BAD.
  • Flowers, although beautiful, will wilt and die in a matter of days. Of course some may love flowers (see below).  
  • And a final ‘don’t’…a simple card (see below)… picked up by your secretary on her lunch break…bad bad idea.

Are you feeling lost and forelorn? no worries, I have a few ideas for you, and some you won’t even have to leave your desk to obtain.

A simple card will suffice, but only if personally picked out by YOU. Or how about making a card or write a poem? Flowers, although perfectly acceptable, bump it up. Instead of cut flowers, give a flowering plant/tree that will be enjoyed for years to come. A continual reminder of your love throughout the year.

A gift card for a massage or a manicure/pedicure… a little spa time. Show your significant other they deserve a little pampering.

Do you want your special someone to know they hold the moon and stars? … have a star in the galaxy named after them. Adopt a manatee/eagle/turtle in need of rescuing. Donate to a worthy cause or charity in your loves name.

No money… no worries…Take a stroll, hike, snowshoe, ski, exercise together. Watch a movie together. Quality time! While you are together,  hold hands, steal kisses, whisper sweet nothings. Make every moment special. It doesn’t have to cost a thing.

Put a little thought into your gift this year. It should come from the heart, it’s not about a price tag, some of the greatest gifts cost nothing. There is truth to ‘it’s the thought that counts’.

Valentines Day is a chance to show that special someone how much you love and admire them. Its a day to throw a little romance their way. 

Happy Valentines Day!



You are busy and missed a workout. Do This. [Infographic]

Two things, don't sweat it, and don't make it a habit. Just do this.

Dean Carlson, Pn2

It can happen to any of us. You haven't missed a day in the gym for weeks, and then BAM! You get sick, or have a week of late meeting, or life "just happens". Sound anything like your life? Don't despair - you can still keep things moving in the right direction by taking just 10 minutes to focus on yourself.

It's inevitable. One of my best clients, the superstar who does "everything right" - never misses training, is on point with their eating, gets enough sleep - "that guy or girl", gets derailed by the holidays, or vacation, or a stressful time at work.

Falls right off the wagon, and stays there for months, or worse.

Doing all the "right things" does great things for you, physiologically and psychologically. When you are taking care of yourself and exercising regularly your heart and lungs function better, your move better, heck you even think better - TRUE STORY.

But the opposite is true when you stop exercising regularly. Those benefits start to fade away, and it happens quicker than we would like.

The good news is it doesn't have to take a ton of time to maintain the gains you have, at least over the short term. The workout below isn't going to turn you into Buff Buffington, but it will keep you moving and even more importantly, in the habit of moving when life gets in the way.

Download the infographic for your printer or tablet, and keep it handy when your regular workout just isn't going to happen. 

To make sure you have your "stay in shape" plan handy next time you need it, download the infographic and print a copy or save it to your tablet.

Want to learn more?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and learning to manage stress are important for not only looking better, but for health. But for applying that knowledge we can sometimes use a little help.

We specialize in giving that help to our clients - who have busy, stress-filled lives, and need help making it easier to fit "one more thing" (even though it might be the most important thing) into their life.

If that's you, let us know, and we'll see how we can help you too.

How to be Successful when Eating Healthy

Habits of Successful People

Successful people notice, learn, and adapt to reach their goals.  A great practice to get into at the end of each week is a strategy called Review and Prepare. 

First REVIEW, look back at your calendar and see how successful you were last week.  

  • Do you see lots of checkmarks or is it lots of circles and question marks?
  • What went right last week?  What went wrong and why?


Next, PREPARE for the week ahead. 

  • Based on what went well last week, prepare to do more of that this next week
  • Based on what went wrong and why?  What do you need to do to make sure you can improve this week. 


What do you need TO DO TODAY to be successful this week?

  • Plan your meal
  • Prep your food
  • Be Prepared!

 To your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

"The future depends on what you do today." - Gandhi


4 Reasons to Prep All Your Meals

4 Reasons Why Meal Prepping Works:

  • It takes the excuse out of eating well.
    • Say goodbye to “I have no time to cook today,” and “There was nothing healthy at home for me to eat.”
  • It gives you more control over what you eat.  
    • More homemade meals means less takeout and meals at restaurants which also means more green stuff in your pockets.  
  • It gets you in the habit of eating portioned meals.
    • For storage, you will pre-portion out your carbs, proteins, and fats for each day.
  • It frees up more time in your schedule
    • What will you do with your extra time??


Here are a couple of strategies to help you find the best meal prepping technique for you. 

Cook 1x Per Week 

On Sunday afternoon (or whatever day you have 2-3 hours) put in an epic cooking session.  Bulk cook everything you will need fo assembling meals throughout the week.  Fire up the oven, get all your pans out, plug in the rice cooker, and start filling up crockpots.  This strategy works well for 1-2 person households or VERY busy households that don't have much time in the evening. 

Cook 2x Per Week

This is probably the most common strategy.

On Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening cook up what you need for the next 3 days.  Make a 3-day meal plan and get to it.  This is a great strategy to save yourself a ton of time in the kitchen.  Spend 1-2 hours prepping, cooking, and cleaning and then don't cook for 3 days. This strategy works well for a larger family that has evening obligations most days of the week.  

Each meal prep day will probably take you about 2 hours of cooking (4 hours per week), but then you are off the hook for days, which ultimately saves you lots of time and hassle.  Put in the work on the front end and save time on the back end.  

The "Dinner is Lunch" Strategy

Some people like to cook and enjoy cooking most days of the week.  For this type of person, try the double portion dinner strategy. 

Each time you make your evening meal, you will make a double portion and save the second portion for lunch the next day.  You get two birds with one stone.  

What do you do to make your food preparations go faster or smoother?

We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy